One Friday afternoon after walking out of class I went out to grab some milk tea at Nieuwmarkt while enjoying the rare autumn sun and room temperature weather. It was a good day. It got even better when I received a notification from YouTube that Casey Neistat had just uploaded a new video entitled “SITTING DOWN WITH THE PRESIDENT” – from the title alone, I knew that he was referring to Indonesia’s very own president, Mr. Joko Widodo, and – spoiler alert! – a fellow vlogger himself.
Nobody saw this coming
I’ve previously written an article on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s trendy vlogging sensation, which leads us here – to a point in time where the universe aligns and two great characters cross paths in a single event – leading me to cover this once-in-a-lifetime incident. IdeaFest Tokopedia 2017 had caused an entertainment buzz among Indonesian youths as it made the encounter between full time President and part-time vlogger, Mr. Jokowi, and widely recognized vlogger, Casey Neistat, possible. Neistat was one of the speakers for the conference held in Jakarta between the fifth to sixth of October. Immediately, my social media feeds were filled with commentaries of Mr. Jokowi and Neistat’s encounter. I believe such acts were done out of pride and amusement for having witnessed such an interesting encounter between who we – at least for us Indonesians – would never have expected to meet. Then again, with President Jokowi’s escalating vlogging career and diplomatic title and relations, he could easily have requested to chat with any named figures as he wishes. And yet, the very idea that it had to be Casey Neistat sitting across from him is unbelievable – but the happy kind of unbelievable.
Sitting down with the President
Neistat and Mr. Jokowi’s exchange was brief but noteworthy. Neistat initiated a topic for discussion revolving creativity and what it would mean for the youths of Indonesia, to which the President responded about its significance for innovation and formation of competition. This theme might have been central to the talk Neistat gave during IdeaFest Tokopedia 2017, and as further reference a citation from the national leader would stir additional insights to his YouTube audience. But this is just my take on why such a question was asked by Neistat and why it was included as part of the cut in his most recent video. It could also be that this exchange was meant to introduce the countrywide audience – as particularly the Indonesian audience is hyped by this video – to a more creative-oriented outlook, as personified by Neistat.
I vicariously lived through him and his fanboying moments upon meeting Neistat
Unfortunately, we don’t get to watch a vlog from the perspective of the President – at least for now, that is (I don’t know if there will actually be one from the President’s YouTube channel). However, a different perspective of Neistat’s presence at IdeaFest Tokopedia 2017 was documented by Indonesian vlogger Agung Hapsah. He, too, attended the brief sit-down session with the President and world-famous vlogger. I vicariously lived through him and his fanboying moments upon meeting Neistat, since I would probably react in the same way.
And so nowadays, we also craze about the unions and gatherings of Internet celebrities with political leaders. In a time where such affairs allows media and entertainment sources to intertwine with political figures and social infrastructures, I think we have utilized the Internet as an integrating platform that unites different societal domains into one fully communicated message.